Wildfire Smoke Tips
Provided by the Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District
With wildfire season already here, the following tips and strategies can help families and individuals stay informed and lower their health impacts and exposure when wildfire smoke is present:
- Sign up to receive EnviroFlash alerts from the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD). Receive local air quality alerts and forecasts via email or text at http://ysaqmd.enviroflash.org/ that also allows new users to choose which monitoring site is closest to them.
- Follow the Air District online. Stay informed of local air quality issues by visiting the Air District’s website at: www.ysaqmd.org or following on Twitter: https://twitter.com/YoloSolanoAir or Facebook: www.facebook.com/YoloSolanoAir. YSAQMD covers all of Yolo County and the portion of Solano County that includes Dixon, Rio Vista and Vacaville.
- Pay attention to local news. Watch the news for health warnings as well as what to do in an emergency situation. Paying attention to public health messages is a measure residents can take to avoid smoke impacts and stay informed.
- Stay indoors. Avoid outdoor activities regardless of health or fitness level. Smoke affects everyone.
- Turn on your air conditioner. Reduce exposure to outdoor smoke by closing all windows and doors and turning on the air conditioner. Consider visiting a place with air conditioning if no air conditioner is available and it is too warm to stay indoors.
- Reduce physical activity. Exercise increases the amount of air lungs intake by as much as 10 to 20 times, allowing pollution to travel deeper into the lungs.
- Lower other sources of indoor air pollution. Smoking cigarettes, using gas, propane and wood-burning stoves and furnaces, spraying aerosol cans and even burning candles or incense can increase particle levels in a home and should be avoided when wildfire smoke is present.
If traveling in a car is necessary, reduce the amount of wildfire smoke inside the car by keeping windows and doors closed. Keep vents shut and if possible use the car’s ‘recirculate air’ option.
Wildfire smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles when wood and other organic materials are burning that can penetrate deep into the lungs causing a range of health issues from coughing and trouble breathing to headaches and chest pain that can affect everyone, especially older adults, young children, women who are pregnant, and people with heart or lung disease and asthma.
The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District supports its mission to protect human health and property from the harmful effects of air pollution and provides public education and information to engage and empower all residents and communities to lower their emissions and exposure.
To receive electronic notifications about air quality advisories or health warnings related to smoke, visit: http://ysaqmd.enviroflash.org. For more information about the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, including signing up for the monthly newsletter, visit: www.ysaqmd.org. Connect with the District on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/YoloSolanoAir or on Twitter at: www.Twitter.com/YoloSolanoAir.